Iridology and Facts

Dr. Grigoriy Abramov

Recent work summarized several publications across the USA and from several different countries where authors explain opposite opinion about Iridology. Present paper summarized evidence that supports Iridology. Data obtained from abstracts and official publication in medical journals registered by NLM.

Now as many years ago these techniques have opponents and supporters. More than hundreds years history didn't find answer for physiology and morphology of the iris signs. But give to opponents great choice claim this method as non-reliable. In the recent time medical doctor in Russia and some European countries continue use Iridology in daily practice. There is Iridology in practice and in deep fundamental research with wide range clinical and laboratory comparison. Iridology finds place in pediatrics, gastroenterology, cardiology. Iridology is informative technique. Iridoscopic data has shown that it is possible to draw up a diagnostic algorithm and using computerized complex that created by several different scientific groups (1,16).

In the former Soviet Union, Iridology found it is own place in 1967. First Russian official publication about Iridology was made by E.S. Velkhover and F.N. Romashov. Their names associate with first steps Iridology in former Russian Empire. Base science made in the University of the P. Lulumb in Moscow. Later clinical and medico-technical researches also performed in Central Institute of the Special Training for practical doctor in Moscow. Central Research Institute of the Gastroenterology, Kiev Institute of Oncology, and the Special Center of Microsurgery on the Eyes in Latvia made additional scientific contribution to Iridology.

In 1982 saw light first Russian book for Iridologist. We need to know authors' names of this book "Principles of Iridology": E.S. Velkhover, N.B. Shulpina, Z.A. Aliev, F.N. Romashov. After short time period this book came as the best seller. Second edition was made in 1988 by same group authors. In 1984 Iridology in Russia made the next step forward -- official Medical Scientific board made recommendations using Iridology in daily medical practice. It gives newly live for old methodology and powerful tools for practitioners. Starts open special certified training courses. In 1989 birth first Russian Iridology Associations, and in 1990 cooperative "Oculus" organized first All-Union Iridology conference. About three thousand professionals joint this convention. Our groups also participated meeting. We present information about computerized methodology in Iridology. In the same 1990 year we present our computerized unit on the first competition "Computerized Technique in Iridology." Our software recognized as best and rewarded.

We must remember that Russian Iridology comes in not from empty space. It takes rich international history and practice. Founders of Iridology from 1670 are Meynes from Germany, 1813 Beer from Austria, 1866 I. Peczely from Hungary, in the 1900th through recent time R. Shnaubel, I. Angerer, F. Vida and Deck, F. Roberts, R. Bourdiol, T. Kriege, P. Dimkov, B. Jensen, and many other authors from different part of the world.

In 1981 Denis J. Stark wrote " Iridology is already 100 years old and yet there has been no controlled clinical trial of its efficacy. No attempt is made to prove the efficacy of the technique is an acceptable scientific manner"(24). Many authors criticized this method to take at base publications from 1970-1980 years old manuscripts. In recent time from different sources we can find information about lest discovery what is made by different scientific groups and what is important this kind of discovery correlated with clinical and laboratory data. Here is the answer for those questions. Table 1 shows publication by years in different countries made by physicians. Table 2 with number investigated patients. From seven publications what is opposite this method, just two have analyzed data from patients' populations. Another just refers to that. Thirteen publications that have straight relation to Iridology and eleven from different clinical study have been found on NLM trough Medline search. This list is not full. More than a thousand subjects investigated by different scientific groups where Iridology is recognized. Additional abstracts from different medical scientific groups just give more information about some relation human iris to internal organs.

Not so long time ago we received reliable data about eye colors. Different colors have relation to pigmented cells' melanocits. Brown color containing higher level melanin, light eyes - low level. But a can we say that just color or this is some natural phenomenon? Some authors found relation between eye color and pure tone hearing threshold (5), heart rate response to intramuscular injection of atropine (6), dose-response to pilocarpine (1), correlation eyes color to reactive motor performance (12,19), a patient case report about sector geterochromia for neural crest disease (2), dependents living population around the world (27).

Data correlated from population of Moscow city and population from the south region of France. Moscow is 12 degrees closer to north than the France region. Group authors have described in Moscow and Moscow district 67% populations have light color (blue, gray, green) and in north side France 56% brown and dark brown colors. From that source was expected increase latitude by 1 degree to south increase number of people with brown eyes to 2% (27).

Through evolution process people from countries which are located close to the northern longitudes have low level pigmentation and opposite -- who live in the middle and south latitudes have a brown eyes color. From physiology vision we can realize medical and a biological problem of the acclimatization (27). M. Millobot in 1976 studied a group of people from different nations (English, Afro-American, Indian, Chinese). He is found that people with blue eyes twice sensitive for contact lenses, then with brown eyes color, and four times higher sensitivities then for whom who have dark eyes.

About different reaction to miotic medication was founded by Laurence S. at all in 1971 (10). He is studied hypotensive response to pilocarpine from patients with glaucoma. This group science found that patients with blue eyes need low dosage pilocarpine (1%), than with brown (4%), and dark brown eye colors (8%).

Another author - Freedl K.E. at all established atropine reaction to different a group of people with different eye color. Subjects with more pigmented irises showed a more rapid rise in a heart rate compared to fewer pigmented irises. An identical ocular drug-melanin interaction result founded by Salazar-Bookaman M. (21).

Zubareva T.V. and Gadakcin K.A. studied 1104 patients and health persons have been found similar Iridology signs in cardiology disease - 78%, hypertonia - 66%, stenocardia - 70%, gastroenterology - 87%, pulmonology - 94%, kidney - 93%, CR - 50%, ophthalmology - 81% (33).

Velkhover E.S. and all describe that gastroenterology disease can be developed in 90.3%, cardiology in 60%, liver and gallbladder in 71.6% (27).

Some investigation made in military population and as prophylactic medical examination of the group of people from area contaminated by radioactive substance (15).

Not so long time ago Willenbring and all studied neuropathic pain on the rat model (32). After freezing animals nerve sciatic he is group describe that animal has pale eye syndrome or another ward the normal pink eye color of the albino rat is changed. After over than hundred's years we have animal model which is reproduced in laboratory experiments. This is very important evidence, which is one more time support discovery what is made by I. Peczely.

Iridology as non-invasive methods ignored by medical community and as consequences do not find own place in some countries, which is some loose for prevention medical care. On all above investigation, which was compared with clinical, laboratory methods and patient history case, we can make conclusions that Iridiagnosis can be used for detection of different internal diseases considering close connection between the eye and internal media of the body. Practitioners can don't believe to Iridology - it is our choice, but we can't close our eyes for officially introduced statistical data.

Publications by years in official medical journals (tab.1)


Number investigated patients (tab.2)



1. Abramov M.S. ; Iridiagnosis and Computer. Tashkent, 1990.
2. Brazel S.M. at all; Sector Heterochromia as Marker for Neural Crest Disease. Archives of Ophthalmology. 1992; 110:233-5.
3. Beer J. at all; Effect of eye color on frisbee toss. Percept Mot. Skills. 1988; 66(2):675-6.
4. Colton S. at al: An ABC of Alternative Medicine. Iridology. Health Visitors. 1987. 60(4); 121.
5. Coren S. at all: Eye Colour and Pure-tone Hearing Threshold. Percept. Mot Skills. 1994; 79(3 pt 1):1373-4.
6. Friedl K.E. at all: Effect of Eye Color on Heart Rate Response to Intramuscular Administration of Atropine. J Auton Nerv Syst. 1988; 24(1-2):51-6.
7. Ganich T.M.: Iridodiagnostic in Diseases of Digestive Organs and Participation of Oculists in it. Oftalmologicheski Zhurnal 1988; 2:103-105
8. Kameneva O.P. at all: Iridodiagnosis of Pancreatic Pathology in Childhood. Pediatriia. 1988:62-65
9. Knipschild P.: Looking for Gall Bladder Disease in the Patient's Iris. BMJ. 1988;297-17:1578-1581.
10. Laurence S. at all: effect of Ocular Pigmentation on Hypotensive Response to Pilocarpine. American journal of Ophthalmology., 1971; 11:923-925.
11. Longon W.P.: at all Breast Cancer and Cerebral Laterality. Percept Mot. Skills. 1991; 72(1):112-4.
12. Miller L.K. at all: Correlation of Eye Color on Self-Paced and Reactive Motor Performance. Perpet Mot. Skills. 1992; 75(1):91-5
13. Pang S.F. at all: Melatonin in the Retina of Rats: Diurnal Rhythm. J. of Endocrinology. 1980; 87(1):89-93
14. Pang. S.F. at all: Effect of Photic Manipulation on the Level of Melatonin in the Retinas of Frogs (Rana Tirgina Regulosa). General & Comparative Endocrinology. 1985; 58(3):464-70.
15. Ponomarenko V.M. at all: Iridodiagnosis in the System of the Follow-up of the Health Status of the Population Living in an Area Contaminated by Radioactive Substances. Vrachebnoe Delo. 1992;1:46-49.
16. Popuscu M.P. at all: Improved Irido-diagnostic method: Possibilities of Computerized Iridology. Revista de Chirurgie, Oncologie, Radiologie. Orl.Oftalmologie, Stomatologie-seria: Oftalmologie. 1986. 30(1):29-33
17. Popescu M.P. Iridology, an investigative test in the diagnosis of some general disease. Revista de Chirurgie, Oncologie, Radiologie. Orl.Oftalmologie, Stomatologie-seria: Oftalmologie. 1979;23(3):197-200.
18. Romashov F.N. at all: Possibilities and Errors of Iridodiagnosis. Eksp-Khir-Anesteziol. 1973; Mar-Apr; 18(2):49-56.
19. Rowe P.J. at all: Ball Color, Eye Color, and Reactive Motor Skill. Percept Mot. Skills. 1994; 79(1 Pt 2):671-4.
20. Russel S. at all: Pseudoscince - a Critical Look at Iridology. J of the American Optometric Assoc. 1984; 55:735-739.
21. Salazar-Bookaman M.M. at all: Relevance of drug-melanin interaction ocular pharmacology and toxicology. J. Ocul. Pharmacol. 1994; 10(1):217-39.
22. Simon A. at all: An Evaluation of Iridology. JAMA 1979;242:1385-1389.
23. Shulpina N.B. at all: Potential Use of Iridodiagnosis in Clinical Practice. Vestnik Oftalmologii. 1986; May-June: 63-66
24. Star D.K.: Look Into My Eyes. The Medical Journal of Australia. 1981;12:676-679.
25. Trevor-Roper P.D.: From Acupuncture to Iris Diagnosis. Klinische Monatsblatter fur Augenheilkunde. 1977;170(6):877-9.
26. Van Den Berg T.J. at all: Dependence of Intraocular Stray Light on Pigmentation and Light Transmission Through the Ocular Wall. Vision Res. 1991;31(7-8):1361-7.
27. Velkhover E.S. at all: Iridodiagnosis. Ed "Medicine". Moscow. 1988.
28. Velkhover E.S. at all: The Effectiveness of Rapid Iridodiagnosis in Mass Examination in a Policlinic. Voen-Med-Zh. 1988; Jun (6):36-38.
29. Vints L.A.: Difficulties in Iridodiagnosis. Voen-Med-Zh. 1988;Sep(9):52-54.
30. Vints L.A.: The Iridodiagnosis of Diseases of the Internal Organs in Persons with Conjunctivitis. Voen-Med-Zn. 1990; Jun(6):47-48.
31. Worrall R.S> Pseudoscince -- a Critical Look at Iridology. J. Am Optom. Assoc. 1984; 55(10): 735-739
32. Willenbring S. at all: Differential outcomes in the Sciatic Cryonerolysis Module of Neuropathic Pain in Rats. Pain. 1994; 58(2):135-40
33. Zubareva T.V. at all: The Usage of Iridoscopic Investigation in Prophylactic Examinations. Oftalmologicheski Zhurnal. 1989;4:233-235.
34. Zaikova M.V. at all: Diagnosis Possibilities of Iridodiagnostics in General Clinical Practice. Oftalmologicheski Zhurnal. 1989; 1:39-41.